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Trump Swamp
weekly primer
May 2, 2019

This Week: You Paid Mar-a-Lago For White House Officials’ $1000 Bar Tab

A few months into Donald Trump’s presidency, the commander in chief ordered a missile strike against Syria and ate cake with China’s President at his Mar-a-Lago resort. The same night, a group including Steve Bannon, then-deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin and other Trump administration staffers visited the bar, had the Secret Service guard the door and, together, drank $1,000 of fancy liquor, including a 20 percent service charge. The government paid. That’s just part of what ProPublica revealed this week based on receipts — actual, literal receipts — and emails that the group Property for the People obtained through a FOIA lawsuit. Elsewhere in that ProPublica report: Trump signed into law a change to federal buying practices that meant Mar-a-Lago didn’t have to submit to a competitive bidding process in order to rent out its function spaces to the government. Speaking of conflicts of interest, a judge this week rejected Trump’s effort to dismiss an Emoluments Clause suit from…

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